I sat parked in the driveway of my best friend’s house. Memories of videos that we filmed in that very spot played back on loop before Vine was even a thing. She was the only one who knew about my back hair and still allowed me to wear a bikini beside her in public. She invited me over for empanadas when I was sick of eating eggplant parm. If you’ve ever seen Scrubs, she was the Turk to my J.D.
I invested everything into our friendship — including the eyebrows she offered to “trim” — yet here she was, dumping me for spending too much time with my boyfriend.
He was my first fling, the only boy I swore I would ever adore at the end of a summer set to Guitar Hero ballads. She remained my best friend but tensions eventually grew: she was relentless in her belief that before I was “his,” I’d been “hers.”
I was her school dance paper doll that she weighed down with enormous hoop earrings. She washed away my booze virginity with lukewarm hard lemonades in exhange for her “respect.” It was she who introduced me to my sweatshirt-ed soul mate; how ironic that Turk’s meddling in my primitive love life broke her own heavy-handed lease on my heart.
And now, I was returning her stuff.
Ghosts of our past slithered out from a box of personal belongings that I was delivering upon her request. My father, the presiding undertaker of this funeral (bound by my driver’s permit), cued a dirge of smooth jazz as I descended onto the graveyard of Domino’s deliveries.
I marched towards the cardboard coffin’s final place of rest when my gaze met hers through a translucent window curtain. There she stood, casting pity upon my grief from the shadows of her bedroom as I buried our friendship’s remains on her front stoop.
I could have groveled for forgiveness or flipped an epic double bird. But I did neither. Instead, I bid adieu to mix CDs, Sims games and tokens of our past, then returned to the hearse and drove off solemnly after executing an assisted five-point turn.
My eyes stopped watering and my brows filled in eventually, but the weight of a sterling silver “Best” without its “Friend” remained a heavy half-heart to bear. Four birthday texts went unanswered. Multiple phone calls left unreturned. Finally, we met for coffee to discuss what had happened like mature, college freshman adults.
What began as a Starbucks summit, however, exploded into a shouting match. It was blow after blow and lots of, “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.” When the words ran out, we grew quiet and huffed into paper cups; our mutual, definitive scoffs cleared the foam off our drinks that were now cold despite the hot air we’d exchanged. No eye contact was made save for the reflections in our coffee. Two strangers’ ghosts stared back.
There lay Turk and J.D.’s decomposed friendship — unrecognizable beneath murky macchiatos.
With the entire cafe congregation impatiently waiting for some higher being to guide our past out of Starbucks and into the afterlife, I tossed back what remained of my pride from the bottom of a recycled paper chalice.
“Hooch is crazy,” I mumbled.
“Hooch is crazy,” she muttered back, returning the familiar Scrubs responsorial psalm.